Should you use Pesos or US dollars?
I see this question posted on social media probably ten times a day, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating! The short answer is use pesos!
Most businesses will take U.S. dollars, but it’s better to convert your currency to pesos. You’ll get better deals and it is the currency of Mexico. Many people get pesos from their bank at home before travel. We normally use ATMs when we arrive at the Cancun airport. We use a separate ATM card from our main bank account, that way if your card does get compromised, the thieves don’t have access to all your money! We are also able to add money to this account as needed online and we are also have the ability to change the pin number after each use. Knock on wood, we have never had our ATM card compromised. I usually use the CI Banco ATM.
We have recently started using Xoom, I think we’re sold on this! You get the app on your phone and have money sent to you in Mexico from your bank, you can then pick up pesos at Banco Azteca inside Elektra store locations in most major towns. You must bring your passport and confirmation transaction from Xoom, we just showed them our phone.
Xoom is a paypal company and very secure.
We have a peso converter inside the MapChick’s Isla Mujeres app, that comes in very handy!
You can also bring cash with you and exchange it for pesos at a money exchange or at CI Banco. You must bring your passport to the bank to exchange your currency to pesos. The drawback for me in doing this is, I don’t like having all of my vacation cash on me. If it’s lost or stolen, there’s no way to get it back.
Tip #1 If you are going to use dollars ask what exchange the place of business is giving, some stay in line with the actual rate, or close to it, and others may give a really bad rate. You may end up paying almost double!
Tip#2 Do not complain about prices and the bad exchange rate if you did not exchange your money.
Tip #3 Exchange your dollars! This may seem odd getting used to this strange money, but it will save you $ and it’s always good to use the local currency.